The Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge saw 1,400 players from 47 teams nationwide taking part in the national competition with 12 teams set to go forward into the finals and be trained by Bank of Ireland GAA Ambassadors.
The 32 county hurling development competition; the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge will reach its climax this weekend as 16 and 17 year old participants from 12 counties are set to take part in the finals. The scene is set for this Saturday 24th June where the participating teams will showcase their skills at Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow. The games, which started on 3rd May, have spanned the four Provinces and were played throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Each of the six winning teams on Saturday can look forward to a personal training session with one of Bank of Ireland’s GAA stars. Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny), Liam Sheedy (Tipperary), Seamus Callanan (Tipperary), Keith Higgins (Mayo), Austin Gleeson (Waterford) and Podge Collins (Clare) will provide personal training sessions over the coming weeks to the winning teams.
The Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge competition is now in its second year and has grown substantially since its launch last year. This year’s competition has also seen an additional 400 participants and 9 teams taking part. GAA fans can log onto www.gaa.ie where the first four finals will be broadcast live on the internet.
Liam Sheedy, Director of Munster, Bank of Ireland said: “We are delighted to have seen such a successful competition so far and look forward to the final this Saturday 24th June in Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow. To have the opportunity to play in your county jersey in a competitive competition at a young age is fantastic for any young hurler.
“At Bank of Ireland we are very committed to supporting today’s youth to be inspired to reach their full potential. As Ireland’s leading bank for young people, we recognise the value and importance of nurturing innovation and talent. Over 1,400 young players, an increase of 400 from last year, have had the fantastic opportunity to upskill and further develop their game and Bank of Ireland and we are especially looking forward to facilitating the special training sessions with the winning teams.”
Aogán Ó Fearghaíl, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael said: “Bank of Ireland’s sponsorship of the Celtic Challenge has elevated the competition in 2017 and we are really pleased that this year’s competition has seen a significant surge in participants. The competition is incredibly unique and inclusive, giving all 32 counties an opportunity to represent themselves on a national level.
“The future is promising for the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge and we are looking forward to next year’s competition.”
Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge finals schedule:
- Armagh v Roscommon @12.40pm
- Down v Dublin Plunkett @2.20pm
- Antrim v North Cork @4pm
- Galway Maroon v South Tipperary @5.40pm
- Carlow v Limerick South/East @7.30pm
- Tyrone v Fermanagh* please note as Fermanagh are involved in hosting John West Féile on the same day, this match will be played at a different date TBC
See http://www.gaa.ie/celticchallenge/ for more information
About the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge
The Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge is a competition for players, aged 16 and 17 years old, who are not participating in State Examinations during May and June 2017. 47 teams participated in the 2017 competition. The programme ran from Wednesday 3rd May to Saturday 24th June 2017.
The national hurling development competition is unique in that the ethos of the competition is a developmental one where the eight week programme of games is supplemented by a 1 to 1 ratio of games to training.